Cruel Sister



				

				

Canzone dei Pentangle, presente nell'omonimo album del 1970, ispirata ad una ballata tradizionale inglese, classificata come Child Ballad #10 e più comunemente nota con il titolo Two Sisters.

[modifica] La storia

La ballata narra la storia di due sorelle, una bionda e l’altra mora, corteggiate da un bel cavaliere che aveva lasciato trapelare la sua preferenza per la bionda. L’altra, ingelosita, invitò la sorella a passeggiare lungo la scogliera, e giunte in un luogo isolato non esitò a precipitarla giù. Due bardi trovarono il corpo sulla riva e con le ossa ed i capelli costruirono un’arpa dal suono melodioso. Il caso volle che i due furono invitati a corte per il matrimonio tra il cavaliere e la sorella mora. L’arpa cominciò a suonare da sola: la prima nota accusò la sposa di aver annegato la sorella, la seconda la fece sedere terrorizzata e la terza la fece morire tra le lacrime.

[modifica] Il testo nella versione dei Pentangle

There lived a lady by the North Sea shore
Two daughters were the babes she bore
One grew as fair as in the sun
So cold, dark, grew the elder one
A knight came riding to the ladies' door
He travelled far to be their wooer
He courted one with gloves and rings
But the other he loved above all things
"Oh, sister, sister won't you walk with me
To see the ships sail o'er sea"
And as they walked the windy shore
The dark girl pushed her sister o'er
Sometimes she sank, sometimes she swam
Crying "Sister, reach to me your hand
Oh sister, sister please let me live
And all that's mine I'll surely give
"It's your own true love I want, and more
That thou shalt never come ashore"
And as she floated like a swan
The salt sea bore her body on
Two minstrels walked by the windy strand
They saw her body float to land
They made a harp of her breast bone
Who's sound would melt a heart of stone
They took three strands of her yellow hair
And with them strung this harp so rare
They took this harp to her father's hall
There to play before them all
But when they set the harp upon a stone
It began to play alone
The first song sang a doleful sound
"The bride her younger sister drowned"
The second string, when this they tried
In terror sits the black haired bride
The third string sang beneath their bow
"And now her tears will surely flow"

[modifica] Il testo originale

There was twa sisters in a bowr,
Edinburgh, Edinburgh
There was twa sisters in a bowr,
Stirling for ay
There was twa sisters in a bowr,
There came a knight to be their wooer.

He courted the eldest wi glove an ring,
But he lovd the youngest above a' thing.

He courted the eldest wi brotch an knife,
But lovd the youngest as his life.

The eldest she was vexed sair,
An much envi'd her sister fair.

Into her bowr she could not rest,
Wi grief an spite she almost brast.

Upon a morning fair and clear,
She cried upon her sister dear:

"O sister, come to yon sea stran,
An see our father's ship come to lan."

She's taen her by the milk-white han,
An led her down to yon sea stran.

The youngest stood upon a stane,
The eldest came and threw her in.

She tooke her by the middle sma,
And dashd her bonny back to the jaw.

"O sister, sister, tak my han,
An Ise mack you heir to a' my lan."

"O sister, sister, tak my middle,
An yes get my goud and my gouden girdle."

"O sister, sister, save my life,
An I swear Ise never be nae man's wife."

"Foul fa the han that I should tacke,
It twin'd me and my wardles make."

"Your cherry cheeks an yallow hair,
Gars me gae maiden for evermair."

Sometimes she sank, and sometimes she swam,
Till she came down yon bonny mill-dam.

O out it came the millers son,
An saw the fair maid swimmin' in.

"O Father, father, draw your dam,
Here's either a mermaid or a swan."

The miller quickly drew the dam,
An there he found a drownd woman.

You couldna see her yallow hair,
For gold and pearle that were so rare.

An by there came a harper fine,
That harped to the king at dine.

When he did look that lady upon,
He sighd and made a heavy moan.

He's taen three locks o her yallow hair,
An wi them strung his harp sae fair.

The first tune he did play and sing,
Was, "Farewell to my father the king."

The nextin tune that he playd syne,
Was, "Farewell to my mother the queen."

The lasten tune that he playd then,
Was, "wae to my sister, Fair Ellen."